Character Sketch of Eilif in Mother Courage and Her Children

Eilif is the eldest son of Mother Courage. He represents the virtues of good soldiers as well as the worst that war brings out in humans. He seeks fame and recognition by killing peasants and stealing their livestock to feed the starving regiment fighting the war. When Eilif performs such acts during peacetime he is mercilessly executed. Eilif’s death raises pertinent questions about how heroic acts during war and peace time raise questions about the absurdities of war.

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